Caitlin Foord is back! Arsenal's Aussie forward returns with a bang but Lia Walti injury sours Everton win
- Foord, McCabe, Wubben-Moy score for Arsenal
- Result puts them three points ahead of Man City
- Concern for Gunners though as Walti stretchered off
TELL ME MORE: After finding Everton difficult to break down for most of the opening half an hour, it was just before the 30-minute mark that Arsenal broke the deadlock through Foord, who was making her first start since returning from a hamstring injury. Toffees defender Nathalie Bjorn was caught in possession and Noelle Maritz pounced, with the full-back sweeping a cross in to Foord who cleverly guided it into the far corner.
Everton almost responded immediately when Lotte Wubben-Moy's mistake let Katja Snoeijs through on the keeper, but the centre-back recovered brilliantly with a goal-saving tackle. Instead, the Gunners doubled their lead minutes later when Katie McCabe fired a strike into the bottom corner from range. Before the break, Foord added a second when she pounced on the rebound of Stina Blackstenius' saved header and Wubben-Moy got in on the act by connecting with Frida Maanum's free-kick delivery.
Arsenal looked sure to add to their tally in the second half but the game was stopped for an extended period early on as Aggie Beever-Jones' tackle on Lia Walti ended both players' evenings - the former shown a red card while the Gunners' midfielder was stretchered off with a nasty-looking ankle injury. The intensity of the match never really returned after that, with Everton getting a late consolation from Snoeijs' impressive header.
THE MVP: Foord was back with a bang in this match, scoring twice in ten first-half minutes to mark her return to the starting line-up in style. The Aussie was flying when a hamstring injury struck her down last month but she showed no signs of rust in this impressive performance as she looks to get back into that clinical rhythm.
THE BIG LOSER: The injury that Walti suffered looked very painful, with her down for a long time while she received oxygen before then being carried off the pitch. It was a very concerning situation, particularly ahead of Arsenal's trip to Chelsea this weekend, but also with just two months until the Switzerland captain is set to lead her nation out at the 2023 Women's World Cup.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Arsenal visit Chelsea for a huge London derby on Sunday, on the penultimate weekend of the season. It's a game that will have huge implications on the WSL title race and also on who will finish in those three Women's Champions League spots.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐